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Posts posted by mungewell

  1. Its a shame the article didn't include a circuit diagram, this would make it easier to understand.... see

    The main reason for a resistors in a passive mixer is to prevent 'shorting' the two outputs from the sources (Xbox and PC in this case) together.

    Think of the outputs providing a voltage level (but changing really quickly) at a moment in time one might be +1V whilst the other is -1V connecting these together would be 'bad' ('don't cross the streams' you know!). The resistors provide a resistive load so that the outputs are not overloaded, the output of the mixer will be half way between the 2 inputs.

    The resistors will attenuate the signal levels, but that should not be a issue when using amplified PC speakers.



  2. And then when i use lsusb I get this:

    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

    This is the root hub of the system, it appears that you don't have any USB devices connected.

    after a point it says that it can't get hub descriptor: Operation not permitted

    When you run the command as a 'mere' user you don't have permission for all the information. Run the command with 'sudo lssub' (it will ask for your password) and there will be no error.

    Try something simple like a mouse or keyboard (these are HID devices and almost certainly supported).

    Things like wireless dongles, may show up in 'lsusb' as just numbers which generally means they aren't supported.

    Good luck,



  3. Is there a tool that will write zero's to sectors that are marked as blank but really still have data on them?

    I need one.

    There is a useful bootable CD which contains a whole load of utilities, some of which are disk wipers...

    As an extra note, when I read your posting I thought you might be talking about clearing re-mapped sectors which I don't think any of the utilities actually consider.

    Modern hard disks have spare space on them which are unallocated. As the drive detects failing sectors they auto-magically remap these to use the spare space. So in theory there could still be data on the drive even if you successfully clear the 'whole' drive as these previously used blocks will not be accessible through the usual drive access stuff.....

    Just a thought.|



  4. It sounds like you've already requested a copy (or more) from Ubuntu's ShipIt site, who post them for free:

    Local LUG's (Linux User Group) are another place to get distro's. You'll probably find someone who'll burn you a copy.



  5. I'm installing Xubuntu on to my desktop, and the install isn't going quite as nicely as i remember it being. It is slow as if i were running it on a Pentium II (and this is on a Pentium 4 w/ 512meg ram [might be 256 but pretty sure its 512] ) were talking 30-40 minutes to boot and get through the 7 install steps, then it freezes on 15% installation. I've removed all USB devices (except the USB mouse) and still nothing. I'm redownloading the iso now to try to reburn and see if it works any better, but i was wondering if any of you had ever had this problem.

    I'm trying to install Xubuntu 7.04 stable on a Dell Optiplex GX260

    I have seen that it appears to freeze when downloading the language packs, although I think this is later than you are suggesting. You can skip this stage, one of the buttons says 'skip'....

    I had problems with dapper that the ATI drivers would crash during installation, you could try dropping to Vesa if this is the case.



  6. lol, one thing to say "Resistance is futile".

    Why even try to censor it? Even if they did manage to clear all blogs and websites from the key (which would require an improbability drive) people are aware of the key, and it can't be magically forgotten.

    I believe that they're actually doing substantial damaged to the concept of DRM.

    The AACS is running around doing:

    1). Saying 'You can't tell anyone this sequence of 16 bytes!'.

    2). Saying 'We're revoking these Pirate keys'.

    I have not seen the connection made in the main stream media, but once some clearly states that the AACS can effectively stop your HD-DVD player working on newer HD-DVD titles, who in their right mind is actually going to spend upwards of $600 on a peice of hardware which might suddenly become useless?

    If the opponents of DRM really want to make a point they should be focusing on releasing the hardware key from a Sony [or other mainstream hardware player] which will *REALLY* mess with the AACS.

    I guess this could either be done with reverse engineering a player, or by brute forcing a particular title. How long would brute force take with a distributed system?

    The moment they revoke a hardware player key they will kill the HD-DVD industry....


    PS. They have already done significant damage to the industry with the 'Down sample on non-HDCP outputs'. The people who spent shitloads on the bleeding edge HDTV are probably not happy....


  7. THE MPAA is having a go at erasing the fairly public HD-DVD processing key number from the Interweb.

    Just to clarify; it is the AACS Licensing Authoritity which is issuing these take down notices, not the MPAA.

    Realistically they have no choice, their whole existance (pointless as it is) depends on the AACS encryption scheme being used on HD-DVDs. If the studios decide not to encrypt (as if!) they loose their jobs.

    Watchout, they're coming for you!

    Mungewell [Pedantic Little Shit].


  8. So there are a couple of articles on M$ new barcode technology:

    They say it can be read with a mobile phone app, but don't give many details.


    "It's more of a 'partner' barcode," he said. "The UPC barcodes will always be there. Ours is more of a niche barcode where you want to put a lot of information in a small space."

    Up to 3,500 alphabetical characters of data can be embedded into each square inch of the barcode.


    My question is.... what's the point in creating a new barcode tech for this? What's wrong with QR-code or DataMatrix?




  9. Appologies for saturating this thread.... but browsing Hack-a-day around the subject there a link for hacking into OnStar units to get GPS data out.

    Me thinks it's time to take the soldering iron out to the truck.


    PS. Might just be a really cheap source of GPS units, just head down to the breaker's yard. Though don't forget to find the GPS antenna as well....


  10. I'm looking to build a GPS receiver for my laptop, I say USB but serial will work.

    The way GPS works is that there is a psuedo random signal containing a time stamp transmitted from all satellites on a given frequency (L1=1.575GHz). The GPS unit has to receive these signals, phase lock onto them and then calcaluate all the possible locations (accounting for interger ambiguity) that the receiver could be and disregard the obviously wrong ones.

    After a lot of maths an answer pops out in UTM, which then has to be converted to local reference system.

    Obviously this isn't that easy.... but I guess if you have a suitable RF front-end/antenna you could do all the math in software.

    If all you're wanting is a rough (10ft - 100ft) precesion then I would suggest buying a second hand USB device off ebay, or a old handheld. The yellow etrex are basic, but perfectly functional to war drive/geocache with. Even damaged handhelds (i.e. cracked screen, etc) may be good fodder for your project.

    Almost all GPS receivers have a NMEA output, which is simple serial strings containing information on location/heading/speed/etc... and can easily be parsed.



  11. A brief explanation of how an imsi catcher works can be found here:

    The guy who does the cryptophone project did a talk at Hope 6, see:

    He also mentioned the benefits of bugging the microwave links from remote cell towers, as a way to get to a bigger stream (ie. all the calls from the various cells around a town).



  12. Bluetooth is designed to work in the proximity of other bluetooth devices.

    It uses a spread spectrum signal to minimise interference and automatically 'frequency hops' on 79 channels (between 2.402GHz and 2.480GHz).

    Later revisions (2.0) introduced adaptive hoping, so the hoping sequence could be tailored to additionally minimise interference.

    My view is that 'they' are full of BS. What's the betting that 'they' are also running 802.11b/g, cordless phones and microwave ovens at the same premises...



  13. High-gain antennas are encouraged for Part 15 use, as their narrow bandwidths help to reduce interference to others.

    They are often a better solution than 'more power' as it's really the noise floor on the reception end which limits how far you can transmit.

    However greater gain requires more precise aiming and mounting.

    I found this great online book ( which describes how to do a proper link budget:




  14. How about a portable USB/Firewire drive embedded in the contrete floor, running encryption with a random key generated at boot time....?

    1) They kill the power the data is gone.

    2) They can't get physical access easy.

    Seriously though is the data THAT secure, or is this a hyperthetical question?



  15. Free Version:

    * Microsoft Windows® Not Needed


    Looks like a pretty good system, and not a bad price for a complete solution.

    Not much info on the website (didn't register to see if there's more there), but it seems to be Debian based (sarge?) and is running Mozilla Firefox 1.0.4.

    Hope this works out for you.



  16. Okay, nothing set in stone but, I think I'm going to go with a setup similar to this:

    OS: KioskCD (live cd that starts up w/ firefox full screen, if you close the windows firefox opens full screen again).

    Fairly sweet idea... but this distro is a little out of date - Firefox 1.0!!!

    Depending on how much effort you want to put in you could roll you own 'Live-CD' and use the same CF idea.

    With Debian there is a live-cd tool which can turn your current Debian install into a Live-CD with almost no effort, so this would enable you to track security updates quite easily and roll a new revision when needed.

    If you were being completely paranoid, you could even add a write-blocker to the IDE interface to be really sure the CF couldn't get corrupted.

    Glad you could make use of Free/OpenSource,



  17. Because compression sucks period.

    You seem to missing my point... If you've used a MiniDV to shoot the original footage it's ALREADY compressed (fairly lightly and on a frame-by-frame basis similar to MJPEG). Whatever you do in the editing CAN NOT improve the image quality.

    Using an 'edit list' type software you don't actually process the video whilst you're deciding on the edits/effects/etc.... this is only done when you hit the render button at which point the 20 hours of footage will actually only result in (say) 20mins.

    If you want to render to 'uncompressed' that's fine, but ultimately you won't get better than the original encoding and realistically MiniDV is actually pretty good quality. If you want to compress down to 40Kbps divX then the quality is going to suffer.

    If your application has problems with compressed streams, then that's down the application - not necessarily down to the source material.

    What you may have experienced is problems with MPEG2/4, which has a 'GOP' structure. Not every frame is encoded 'standalone'. MPEG uses 3 types of frame (I, B and P) - I are full frames compressed, P are further compressed (refering the previous I frame) and B are extremely compressed (basically only containing motion vectors).

    When you attempt to edit MPEG2/4 you are likely to see a huge amount of artifacts as this format is really only intended for a continous stream, expecting your eye/brain to mask all the horrible stuff.


    So refering to my (pretty limited) experience with Cinelerra I spent a fair amount of time doing cutting and adding effects, such as fades and zooms, I added some audio and titles etc.... all without affecting the source material.

    I then rendered this down to MiniDV and exported back to camera for archive. The 'camera route' also enabled a fairly high quality VHS (oxymoron) to be made for 'give away'.

    I also encoded the MiniDV stream into MPEG2 to burn to DVD and added a few DVD titles etc....

    All this was done with Free software and wasn't too complicated.

    The biggest technical problem was the fact that the MiniDV encoding from Cinelerra wasn't as good as the source material (I guess Sony know what they're doing) and as Cinelerra only re-encodes the frames it needs to there was a slight jump/difference in image quality as (for example) a fade ended.

    This could have been solved by rendering to a raw (uncompressed) format and using an alternative encoder, but the easier route was to apply a null-effect to the whole movie - forcing Cinelerra to re-encode every frame.

    Technically the I thought the result was pretty good, I'll leave judgement on the content to the those who have seen it....

    It's fairly easy to knock Cinelerra on first impressions of the interface, however if you take a little time to muck around and get to know it, you'll find that it is very powerfull. If someone wants to spend some cash on Premier, then that's their business.


    PS. Yes I am an Free/Open Source Nut.

    PPS. Dyne:Bolic 2.4 was released last week and now has an XFCE desktop :-) <- big smile!


  18. most higher end editing software (premiere) will capture form minidv to uncompressed filetypes.

    That's a bit bizaar.... what's the point of that?

    Assuming that you're working with an 'edit list' system which only processes the edits when you hit the 'render' button, you won't gain anything in image quality (over the original format).

    I'm not saying that this is right or wrong, I'm just wondering why they would do that...